Norfolk State alum Kyle O’Quinn continuing hoops career in Turkey
Fenerbahce Beko announced on Wednesday that it has signed O’Quinn to a contract for the remainder of its season. Based in Istanbul, the team is a member of the Basketball Super League, also known as ING Basketbol Süper Ligi, the top professional division in the Turkish basketball system. Fenerbahce is currently 13-4 and in third place in the 16-team Basketball Super League.
A 6’10” forward, O’Quinn spent last season with the Philadelphia 76ers. He competed for three years each with the Orlando Magic and the New York Knicks in addition to one season with the Indiana Pacers. His best year came with the Knicks in 2017-18, when he averaged career highs of 7.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 blocks per game.
He was selected in the second round by the Magic in 2012, the 49th overall pick, becoming the first NSU player since 1988 and the first MEAC player since 1998 to hear his named called in the NBA Draft. He was a three-time All-MEAC honoree and a two-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. O’Quinn was named the MEAC Player of the Year as a senior in 2012, becoming the first player in league history to win the player and defensive player of the year awards in the same season.
That same year, he was named the MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Performer after guiding the Spartans to their first ever conference title. He also led NSU to what was (at the time) just the fifth-ever upset by a No. 15 seed over a No. 2 seed in NCAA Tournament history when the Spartans knocked off Missouri 86-84. To this day, it is still ranked as the biggest upset in tournament history by point spread.
O’Quinn was later named MVP of the Portsmouth Invitational before embarking on his eight-year NBA career. He still ranks as the top shot-blocker in NSU history, with 283. He also ranks seventh in program annals in rebounds (1,092), 10th in field-goal percentage (55.3) and 17th in scoring (1,607 points).
He had his jersey retired at NSU and was inducted into the MEAC Hall of Fame, both in 2019.
Six other former Spartans have also played overseas this year, including Jermaine Bishop, Anell Alexis and Edward Seward in Germany. Pendarvis Williams (Italy), Derrik Jamerson Jr. (Argentina) and Preston Bungei (Denmark) have also seen time in the professional ranks this year.